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  • Writer's pictureJera

Healing with a Neurodivergent Brain

One of the many problems with dehumanizing neurodivergent people is that it gaslights us out of honoring the visceral nature of our experience.

Having spent so much of my life either surviving trauma or trying to heal it, I thought I understood the grittiness of being alive - the twisted heartbreak that comes with living traumatized. But, learning about my Autistic, ADHD brain swept my feet from beneath me.

It's easy to see, for example, how my mother's choice to bring men home and have sex in front of me would be incredibly traumatizing. The sick horror on people's face who hear this matches the internal experience, making it easy to own. It's much harder to see, from the outside, why my father's shaming of my oral stimming or his disbelief of my memory issues would have carved my soul out in a very similar way.

The number of neurodivergent (ND) people who escaped their childhood without being traumatized by the people who loved them is so rare that it's nearly statistically negligible. Meaning that the rest of us are out here living with vastly different biological and social needs, and a metric ton of trauma.

And because our neurotypical world has had no way to understand our experience, we are constantly being told that we're wrong.

Once we understand and accept ourselves as ND, our brains start looking backward and re-cataloguing our memories - we can suddenly see how violent and unfair people were with us. We are looking back at a lifetime full of being traumatized for the crime of simply existing as we are.

Being a traumatized neurodivergent person, I am not any better prepared to explain how tortuous or truly visceral this process is.

Yet, as someone who has been healing from other childhood trauma for awhile now, I can feel in my body how healing my CPTSD is so similar to healing from growing up ND. The terror of 'unbecoming in order to become' is exactly the same. The lostness. The panic of being vulnerable in a hungry world. It's all so palpable.

This work grabs us by the sacrum and takes us on a crazy-wild ride back to our Self.

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